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Hurley School gets a day of beauty

Parents and teachers work together for gardening project
South End News
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Victoria Kichuk
Hurley School entrance following Deloitte & Touche's beautification project for IMPACT Day

Parents, neighbors, and other volunteers from the South End recently joined forces to help beautify the the grounds of the Hurley School. The project, which took place primarily on June 8th, came about after a first grade teacher’s classroom undertook an outdoor project of their own.

“This season, Mrs. Lindsay Brennen’s first grade class is growing a crop of beans, corn and pumpkins that will be harvested by the students this fall to learn about growing food. Conversations amongst other parents and teachers about the garden and related volunteer efforts quickly led to discussions about how badly the landscaping and fence along the front of the school on Worcester Street also needed work.,” said Kim Zeoli, partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP, South End resident, and parent of a student at the Hurley School.

Zeoli, who attended the initial meeting on the gardening project, offered to get the Hurley School on the list for her firm’s annual community volunteer day in June called “IMPACT Day.” IMPACT day is an annual nationwide volunteer event where professionals from Deloitte LLP perform a variety of local community service activities. Participation in the program also helps provide resources and funding for items on the school’s wish list of campus beautification projects.

Following that initial meeting, Zeoli worked closely with Jason Dionne, an 8th grade teacher and Director of Middle School Operations for the Hurley School, to organize the project, while also enlisting volunteers and gathering donations from neighbors and local businesses to aid in their efforts. South End Resident Carey Erdman, of Erdman Design, provided free advice on what types of plants to add and how to improve the landscaping around the school building.

“Mr. Dionne’s energy and commitment to the Hurley School on many levels is contagious and it is motivating everyone involved to all work hard to realize his vision of a welcoming, beautiful campus for the students, neighbors and community at large. We all want the students to be inspired by their surroundings to succeed academically and to be good citizens,” said Zeoli.

Since April over 200 hours have been spent on refurbishing the garden, flower beds and campus grounds and more projects are currently being scheduled for the coming months.

South End businesses and residents can get involved by making donations to the “Neighborhood Parents for the Hurley School” which can be designated for campus beautification or other school projects at Anyone interested in making donations or volunteering can contact Jason Dionne at the Hurley School or Kim Zeoli at for more information.